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There’s nothing more heart wrenching than seeing someone you love in pain. That’s how I feel when I see Pickle hobbling around from her dog arthritis, walking so slow and taking breaks just on the way to go outside.
Pickle has had both ACLs in her back legs repaired. She was also a very active puppy, and she has moderate dog arthritis in her right shoulder and severe dog arthritis in her left shoulder.
It’s been like this for a couple of years and I believe her Cushing’s disease has not helped her arthritis. She’s already on meds to manage that as well as allergy medicine, so I decided I want to try to treat her arthritis as natural as possible.
Don’t get me wrong, we have tried medications and injections, but I since then have done a lot of research on dog arthritis and decided to try the natural way.
Here I’ll talk about what has worked for us and what hasn’t. Medications and other pharmaceutical ways of treatment aren’t necessarily a bad way to go, but like I said, I hate pumping her full of medication if I can help it.
We’ve tried multiple things. I’m going to share them all with you and what has worked for us and what hasn’t. Every dog is different, and what’s worked for us may not work for you and your sweet fur babies. One thing is for sure, dog arthritis sucks!
I write this post to share my experiences and to try to help anyone who is watching their sweet baby age and limp around. I want to keep her as comfortable as possible without bad side effects, and here’s our story.
**I am not a veterinarian, these are only our experiences. Always, always, always check with your veterinarian before trying anything new.
When I first noticed her limping, I took her into the vet, thinking she probably injured herself again. After a quick exam, there wasn’t much of a diagnosis, and I was told to watch it while we medicate her with Rimadyl, which is an anti inflammatory for dogs. She got a dose or two a day (I can’t remember) and it seemed to help just a little bit. At follow up, my vet stated he thought it could be arthritis and to use the Rimadyl as needed, but warned me that she shouldn’t be on it long term.
Time went by and while I did give her the Rimadyl on the “bad” days (mostly when she was really active) I didn’t see much difference. She continued to get worse.
We went back to the vet and he recommended that she lose some weight (so easier said than done) and that we try an injection called Adequan. This is an injection that is given once weekly for so many weeks, and then is tapered down to once a month for maintenance. While we did see some improvement during the end of the first treatment month, I didn’t see much after that. We tried it for 6 months when I decided it wasn’t doing enough to warrant the visits to the vet and the cost. Read about Adequan here. This is a prescription only medication, administered by a veterinarian.
This is when I started doing more research. My vet had recommended a CT scan to get a better picture of her shoulders and to rule out any cancer. The CT did show only arthritis in her shoulders, which is why she was limping. I immediately hit up Pinterest to see what other options we had. One that came up more than once was a pin that referred to an all natural substance called Golden Paste.
Golden Paste (or GP as I call it) is a mixture of turmeric, water, certain types of oil and freshly ground black pepper. I joined the Turmeric User Group on Facebook and they helped me tremendously. GP is wonderful for arthritis, but it’s also amazing for so many other ailments, for both pets and humans. The group gave me the recipe and I made it and started giving it to her.
The paste takes some time to build up in the system, but about after 2-3 weeks, Pickle was walking faster and jumping back on the couch. It’s clear that her knees and hips are also bothering her, and I noticed that seemed less after administering the GP. It works as an anti inflammatory just like the Rimadyl. Once a dose is administered, it only lasts in the body for about 6 hours, so small doses throughout the day work best. Our schedule allows us to give her two doses a day. Managing inflammation is just one piece to the arthritis puzzle but we have noticed a much happier and faster pup with GP.
Another thing I read about was supplements that can help the joints work better, therefore causing less pain. The joints lose cartilage and can rub together later on in life, which causes pain. My mother in law has arthritis and she mentioned something that really helps her is a liquid supplement called Lubricyn. There is a Lubricyn for humans and also a pet product. This gel like supplement is tasteless and we added the dose to her food according to her weight twice a day. We saw a significant difference in about a week. Lubricyn is a hyaluronic acid supplement that helps with arthritis by lubricating the joints. While she was still limping some, she was definitely better than with the GP alone.
Another supplement that we tried was Green Lipped Mussel powder. This powder was said to support joint function and connective tissue, which I figured can’t hurt because I want to try and prevent more damage. We didn’t see a significant improvement with Pickle after adding this, but her skin and coat are so much softer. She gets this as more of a preventative daily. We also give her a sardine snack (gross, my husband does it) about every three days which is said to help with inflammation as well as maintain a healthy skin and coat and brain function. Since she has such bad allergies, we figure this healthy sardine snack can’t hurt! Warning to those with a weak stomach: the Green Lipped Mussel powder smells something awful like fish food, and the sardines…well…you can imagine how bad they stink.
The last thing that Pickle is on for her arthritis is a daily supplement that includes Glucosamine Chondroitin, MSM, and Organic Turmeric. They are Soft Chews by Genuine Naturals, and we add them to her food daily. She really loves the taste of these and we even use them as treats sometimes. The extra turmeric in the soft chews will add to the reduction of inflammation as well. Since we have had Pickle on these in combination with all the other supplements, we have seen significant improvement. I can tell when we forgot to add something because she is much stiffer without it.
At this point, Pickle is still acting like her happy self and seems to be pretty much pain free. I do have some Rimadyl in the cabinet for the days when she seems to be in pain, which is very infrequent since we started this natural regimen. I truly believe that this has really changed the way she feels for the better, and I’m hoping we don’t have to go the pain medication route at all because of the side effects from long term use. However, with that said, I do not want her to suffer and be in pain, so if the day comes where this regimen is no longer working, we will try the pain medication route again. There are other stronger medications, and at that point we would have to weigh her being in pain versus the potential side effects and risks that come with the medications. Dog arthritis is a beast to treat. I wish there was an easy fix, but since there isn’t I’ve done the research for you and have tried the natural route. I hope you can find some relief with the information that I’ve shared.
Have a dog arthritis tip or trick that I haven’t shared? Please let me know! I’d love to hear your stories about how you’ve managed your dog’s arthritis! Comment below or send me an email through the contact link.
Again – ALWAYS CONSULT YOUR VETERINARIAN PRIOR TO ADDING ANY NEW SUPPLEMENTS INTO YOUR DOG’S REGIMEN. I can’t stress this enough. You never know what drugs may have interactions with the turmeric or anything else listed, so always consult a professional first.
Wishing you and your fur babies the best pain free days!